Serial entrepreneur Lucrece Borrego has officially launched EmprendeLatino, a New Mexico based venture capital backed accelerator for Latinos that are aspiring tech founders. The first of its kind, this accelerator is creating holistic inroads for Latinos to enter the field of tech while also increasing their access to funding for their businesses.
Tech’s Diversity Issues
Tech has a diversity and inclusion problem that some say is a pipeline issue. A pipeline issue essentially means that there are ‘not enough Latinx’ founders available with compelling ideas. However, this simply doesn’t seem to be true. The fact of the matter is that Latinas are leading in many ways in the startup world. From helping undocumented students pay for higher education, to starting their own tech companies, to breaking funding records Latinas continue to prove that they are innovative, successful, and fundable. As a result, many do not feel ‘it’s a pipeline issue.’ Some feel that the practice of pattern matching in venture capital and angel funding is also a part of the problem.
Pattern matching is the practice of, “[using a] technique for figuring out which human traits, corporate makeup and financial projections are the foundations for the next Facebook or other big Internet success. The criteria can include a founder’s track record, personality type and alma mater, which market the company is targeting and how its peers are performing, and how quickly the business is expected to grow and begin collecting revenue.” This practice is highly contextual and subjective to who is looking at these factors. The fact of the matter is venture capital and tech continues to be a very homogeneous sector led by white males that attended Ivy League schools. If these males are tasked with defining what successful people look like but most of their experiences are being around people that look like them non-male and non-white people who are leaders and talented will continue to be overlooked.
Latinas Are Changing Tech
Enter Lucrece Borrego. EmprendeLatino is helping ‘fix’ the pipeline issue and helping the ways in which Latinx founders are often overlooked for funding. Backed by Perpetua Partners, EmprendeLatino graduates will receive $100,000 in funding.
A native New Mexican, Borrego decided to launch the accelerator outside of the usual large cities like New York City and San Francisco. “We seek to change the face of venture capital, and that will require breaking away from the environments where that culture is so deeply rooted. We also have some amazing partners and unique resources here such as programs that help take technology from out of the national laboratories to startups – the wealth of deep technology knowledge in New Mexico is surprisingly impressive and comparable to many major cities.”
Borrego has created a balance of private and public resource sharing to develop an accelerator that is truly built, funded, and created by Latino for Latinos. In addition to being backed by venture capital funding EmprendeLatino has a partnership with the local Hispano Chamber of Commerce and the City of Albuquerque to leverage the resources the city already has for entrepreneurs. EmprendeLatino has welcomed their first cohort and has plans to expand their accelerator locations and models to six other cities across the United States. EmprendeLatino is here to show everyone that Latinos are leaders, are innovative, and are more than capable of launching and scaling businesses.